Can I buy a Medicare Supplement at any time?

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Medicare Supplements Explained

When you first become eligible and sign up to join Medicare, most beneficiaries will also consider and look at the potential Medicare Supplements available to them for additional financial support. Medicare supplement insurance, also known as Medigap, is designed to fill the gaps through additional policies and conditions which leave the beneficiary with a more comprehensive insurance plan in the face of different medical and healthcare needs.

Of course, as with everything concerning health insurance in the United States, Medigap is not free. However, there are certain times when buying your Medigap policy makes better long term financial sense – and times when the outgoings and expenses associated with buying the insurance may be much higher than you expect.

When Is The Best Time To Enroll With Medigap Supplement Insurance?

You will first be able to enroll with Medigap supplement insurance on the first day of the month that you turn 65 years of age and your Medicare Part B coverage becomes effective. Starting on this date, you will have 6 months of an Open Enrollment Period during which time you will be able to sign up for Medigap. 

There is no law that says you have to sign up for Medigap during this enrollment period – in fact, you may find that you can do so months or even years after. However what is key to note here is that as soon as that enrollment period has passed, your policy application can be refused, or if not you may find that the cost of the policy is highly elevated due to your increased age and the additional health risks. 

If you suffer from any existing health or medical conditions, this can also be a reason for a more expensive supplement insurance policy – after all, the provider will be paying out whenever you require eligible financial support, and so if you enter into an insurance contract with them while suffering from an existing condition, the cost of purchasing that insurance will inevitably be higher in order to help them cover their expenses.

What Other Options Do You Have - Besides Medigap?

One of the most popular solutions for those not sure if they need full Medigap coverage or not is to opt for the Medicare Select policy instead. What this does is provide you with a 12-month window in which to decide whether to move forward with a Medigap policy or not, by providing you with a limited supplement insurance cover whereby the hospitals and doctors you can visit under financial coverage must be from an eligible list. This limits the choice available to beneficiaries and so in many cases will result in them progressing with a standard Medigap policy for ease. 

Understanding exactly when you need to sign up for Medicare supplement insurance can be a bit of a minefield if you aren’t completely sure what level of medical or financial support you need. Fortunately, Medigap and other private supplement insurance policies are technically available beyond the enrollment cut-off; however, beneficiaries may find their applications refused or their premiums increased if they enroll beyond the original cut-off. 

For support and guidance in selecting the right supplement insurance policy at the right time, contact our team at Bobby Brock Insurance.

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Justin Brock

President & CEO of Bobby Brock Insurance